The distinction as Florida State's starting quarterback inherently elevates that person to big man on campus, but how do you break into legendary status on the Tallahassee campus? Throw a football over a palatial fraternity house that claims to be the nation's largest.
This weekend, Seminoles quarterback Deondre Francois endeared himself even more to Florida State fans and captivated an even larger social audience when a video of him chucking a ball over the Pi Kappa Alpha house went viral.
Watch Deondre Francois throw a football over the pike house pic.twitter.com/WDc6dyVALA
— zachboivin (@ZachBoivin17) February 18, 2017
From just inside the property walls, the rising redshirt sophomore gathered and then launched the football over the 35-foot peak before students mobbed him with salutes and selfies. Pi Kappa Alpha on its website claims to have the largest fraternity house in the country.
It was a quick way to become an internet sensation for Francois and a quicker way to reintroduce the comparisons to Jameis Winston. As the No. 1 high school quarterback and a hyped recruit, Winston was already well known at Florida State when he enrolled. Yet throwing a football over the "Pike" house was an aggrandizing moment for a player who redshirted as a freshman and was only on campus for about six months.
The Orlando Sentinel reported in 2013 that it took Winston two attempts to clear the peak. (No official word on whether Francois bested Winston and made it on his first throw.) Fellow former quarterbacks and future No. 1 picks E.J. Manuel and Christian Ponder failed to throw it over the house, too, a feat the Sentinel reported had only been done once before Winston matched it.
Might it be a harbinger for the Seminoles this upcoming season, too? Months after Winston’s throw safely landed in the opposite yard, he led the Seminoles to an undefeated season and national championship and won the Heisman Trophy.
Francois, who was 10-3 as the starter in his first season, will quarterback a Florida State team colleague Mark Schlabach ranks No. 2 in his Way-Too-Early projections.